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Silly truck question: what do the designations 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton MEAN?

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  • Silly truck question: what do the designations 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton MEAN?

    Should I only carry 3/4 of a ton of "stuff" in the bed of my 3/4-ton pickup? Is anything else calculated into that, such as the stuff, including people, in the cab?

    I do know it's not hauling capacity!

    And the follow-up question... if that is the case, and I occasionally carry considerably more than 3/4 of a ton, what am I hurting? And can I protect or beef up the thing I might damage/hurt -- like getting heavier duty shocks and struts (whatever they are)?

    Yeah I AM blonde, what's it to ya?
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.

  • #2
    I have no clue how much you can put in the bed of a 3/4 ton pickup, really. But I do know that there are shops that will add leaves to your rear leaf spring axle - I forget exactly what they are called, "overloads" or something like that. We had them put on our cab forward Iveco and bumped up the payload by at least half a ton IIRC. Not cheap, we paid about a grand (this all about 12 years ago).
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    • #3

      Brunette Joke
      A young brunette goes into the doctor's office and says that her body hurts wherever she touches it.

      "Impossible," says the doctor. "Show me."

      She takes her finger and pushes her elbow and screams in agony. She pushes her knee and screams, pushes her ankle and screams and so on it goes.

      The doctor says, "You're not really a brunette are you?"

      She says, "No, I'm really a blonde."

      "I thought so," he says. "Your finger is broken."


      • #4
        Ive heard that it is from days gone by...although i could be wrong.

        HOWEVER, you can put more than 3/4 of a ton of stuff in your bed. my dodge diesel is a 3/4 ton long bed and the max weight of the bed is about 2100lbs and thats low because its a 4wd long bed. yes it is dependent on people and everything in the cab.

        2wd will have a higher payload capacity than 4wd and a regular cab short bed would have the highest. i think it is based on your dry weight subtracted from your maximum weight. should all be in your manual.

        BTW what kind of truck is it?


        • Original Poster

          It's a GMC Sierra 2500, 2WD, regular cab, long bed. Tows like a dream, hauls like a champ -- but it can get stuck in 1/2 inch of mud! (Fine choice for the Pacific Northwest, I must say...)
          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


          • #6
            lol sounds like a fine choice!

            just did a quick search, i just winged it and looked at the 2000 yr model, but it looks like the gas 2wd is about 3500lbs.

            There should be a tag somewhere on the truck, driver side door frame is where mine is, and it says the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) and i think it says the dry weight, subtract the two and there is a rough estimate (on the high side).

            Bottom line, you can put a lot of weight in the back of the truck. and usually the limiting factor is actually your tires!!


            • #7
              The payload varies from truck to truck...based on bed length and whether it's a 4x4 or not, etc.

              The easiest way to check payload capacity is checking this site:
              Just choose your vehicle. Then click on "specifications" and after that click on "engines and fuel" and there will be a list with each trim model and their payload capacity, max towing and GVWR.
              My F250 long bed 4x4 has a 2800 lb payload.
              You jump in the saddle,
              Hold onto the bridle!
              Jump in the line!


              • #8
                It used to be, like back in the '60s, based on what load you could carry in the bed and it ride normally without going lower in the back.


                • #9

                  Trucks are grouped into class 1, 2, 3, 4, to 8

                  An over the road tractor trailer rig is a class 8.

                  1/2 ton p/u is a class 1 therefore F150, 1500, C10 and such

                  3/4 ton is a class 2 Therefore F250, 2500, C20 and such

                  1 ton is a class 3 Therefore F350, 3500, C30, K30 and such

                  1 1/2 ton is a class 4 Therefore F450, 4500 and such

                  For a more detailed explanation the internet is your friend... click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck_classification
                  Equus makus brokus but happy


                  • #10
                    My dad's 1999 Doge Ram 4x4 long box extended cab 1/2 ton (supposedly, but it's a big devil in a side-by-side comarison with F-150s and Chevy 1500s) carries somewhere around 2700-2900# of hay in the box several times a month.


                    • #11
                      copied and pasted from that Wiki link:

                      When light-duty trucks were first produced, they were rated by their payload capacity in tons (e.g., 1/2-, 3/4- and 1-ton). The Ford F-150, Chevy/GMC 1500, and Dodge 1500 are a 1/2-ton. The Ford F-250, Chevy/GMC 2500, and Dodge 2500 are a 3/4-ton. The Ford F-350, Chevy/GMC 3500, and Dodge 3500 are a 1-ton. But throughout the years, the payload capacities have increased while the ton title has stayed the same. The current ton rating is nothing more than just a truck name.

                      The last time I remember the names being about right was in the 1960s. One of my jobs as a teenager was to drive a 1/2 ton pickup to town to get 9 300lb. blocks of ice about twice a week. It made the truck so low in back and so light in front, that it was really dangerous to drive. Fortunately I never got into trouble and made 5 bucks for each 1 hour trip when I was 16.